128. Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim
Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim: A Visual Novel by Tom Corwin
Illustrated by Craig Frazier
Finished: July 18, 2008
First Published: June, 2008
Genre: graphic novel
Reason for Reading: Received a Review Copy from the publisher, Flying Dolphin Press.
Mr. Fooster has a long list of things he likes to do.
Comments: Rather than starting this review with a summary of the plot I will be starting with a summary of the physical book itself. This is a small hardcover book, dimensionally just a bit smaller than the size of a trade paperback. The cover has a matte finish yet the bubble is raised and glossy. I found myself touching the bubble on the cover numerous times. Also on the cover we see the words "A Visual Novel" and after looking at the copyright page I see the LCC have catalogued it as a "graphic novel". Upon browsing through the book I would say it looks like a child's picture book with text on one side and an illustration on the other for each two page spread. This is not a children's book, though. It is a book for adults and I think the publishing industry is going to have to come up with some new names for this emerging genre of books that are for adult readers and yet combine text and illustration though not in the typical comic format of a graphic novel.
The story is about Mr. Fooster who likes to go for walks. In his pocket he carries a bottle of children's bubbles. As he walks around he always asks himself questions such as "Who figured out how to eat artichokes?" and "How come we never see baby pigeons?". It is hard to describe the story but at first magical realism surrounds the events, then the story takes on a fairy tale aspect and finally becomes a fable. The pen and ink drawings are superb. They add a magical, whimsical feel that the text alone could not purvey. This is a tale full of whimsy with a clear message for adults to never loose their imagination, not to let their lives stand still rooting themselves to one spot and not to forget that the little things in life do matter. A very sweet story and yet, slightly Kafkaesque as reality becomes blurred and Mr. Fooster comes to an unfortunate situation. But, in the end, all ends well and I can see this as a perfect gift book for those who enjoy fantasy and/or fairy tales.